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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Your NHL Trade Deadline Update

The slumping, but still first-place Boston Bruins today had their most successful trade deadline since the '03-04 season where they acquired Michael Nylander and Sergei Gonchar for their playoff stretch. That year, they finished with 104 points and earned the second seed, only to lose in the first round to the Canadiens.

Back to this year's trade deadline deals. Bruins acquire defenseman Steve Montador from the Ducks for rarely-used young center Petteri Nokelainen. Many times in hockey, players will be compared to “a poor man’s Chara”, however Steve Montador is like the middle class’ Shane Hnidy. He is a solid role player defenseman who can get tough when you need him to, and will chip into the offense on occasion.

Nokelainen would have had a tough time breaking into the Bruins lineup with Savard, Krecji, Bergeron down the middle. Montador will add depth to a solid defense. Shane Hnidy has been playing more than he should but doing a great job. With Chara, Wideman, Ward, Ferrence, Stuart and now Montador the Bruins have a complete defensive core with a good mix of stay-at-home toughness, fluid puck movement and big shots from the point which will hopefully spark their suspect power play.

The second and biggest move the Bruins made can be viewed at as acquiring a veteran winger with over 1,426 career points and 117 career playoff points and most importantly, has his name inscribed on Lord Stanley’s cup, twice.

This move is in actuality, more of a medium risk, high reward. The Bruins gave up prospect defenseman Matt Lashoff, who was surpassed by Matt Hunwick as the B's top defense prospect and Martins Karsums.

Bruins also received a second round 2010 draft pick. As good as Recchi’s resume is, he is also the guy who got recently waived by Pittsburgh for sucking. Karsums and Lashoff may develop into a decent NHL player, but neither will become stars in the league.

The Bruins got exactly what they needed. Without putting a dent in the NHL Roster, they solidified their defense and added a veteran winger who could really make a difference. They are not expecting anyone to fill a Hossa-like roll for the Penguins last year or have Gonchar-Nylander expectations.

They needed to quietly fill a few holes without breaking stride and that’s exactly what they did. The difference between this year's Bruins and the 2003-2004 team is that in 2003-2004, we acquired Gonchar to be our best defenseman and Nylander to be the second anchor on offense.

In other news around the league, the Penguins traded for a conditional draft pick for Bill Guerin and Chris Kunitz. Good moves for them, as they really need some support up front.

The Flyers get yet another tough guy with suspect hockey skills. Philly acquired Daniel Carcillo from the Phoenix Coyotes for Scottie Upshall and a second-round draft pick. With Riley Cote, Aaron Asham and Scott Hartnell, I think this is the last guy they need. He may be able to generate some offense, but where does he fit?

The New York Rangers made the most noise in the East, adding Derek Morris and Nik Antropov in two separate deals. Antropov brings offense the Rangers desperately needed and Morris is a very reliable defenseman.

The Calgary Flames added winger Olli Jokinen and defenseman Jordan Leopold. These are two solid players that will help the Flames.

--Jim Christo

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